September 11, 2015
Steal These Ideas – Decorating with Mums
It is September and the nights should start to cool down soon, the fields are beginning to turn a golden yellow color and the pumpkins are orange. I look forward to walking down the rows of mums in all the colors of fall: yellow, orange, rust, red and purple. The mum flowers vary and can be small and button-like, large and showy or daisy-like with yellow centers. Mums can be used in a variety of ways in and around your home.
Mums are grown in black plastic pots or peat pots, but it is easy to dress them up by placing them into something more decorative. I like to place a mum into a copper pot that I found at an antique store; the soft patina of the copper is a beautiful accent for the plant. I have also placed them into an old earthenware blue pitcher and a decorative metal watering can. The potential containers that can be used are limited only by your imagination. An old, red milk can, which sits in front of my barn, is the perfect size to hold and elevate a mum and make it more visible from the road. If you are looking for a rustic look, wooden crates or bushel baskets can be used. Try tying a bow in raffia or ribbon in a color to accent the mum to create a different look.
Incorporate mums into larger fall displays by your front door, in the yard or at the end of the driveway. A neighbor by the park where I often walk my dogs uses a full size, old wagon in their yard for their fall display. Mums, pumpkins, gourds and straw bales are placed in and around the wagon for an awesome fall look. These same elements can be used on a smaller scale to decorate a front door. Wheelbarrows, small wagons, chairs and straw bales are great objects to use to tier your pumpkins, mums and gourds. A scarecrow with a plaid shirt can be stuck into the straw bale to add height and color.
Late summer is also the time when I like to redo my tired summer planters. The smaller four and six inch mums are ideal for planting in combination with other plants. I like to use colorful fall perennials and one-gallon shrubs in my fall planters, since I can then plant them into my landscape. The many perennial grass options are a perfect way to add height and a wispy texture to complement the fall-favorite plant. Accent your mums with berry-bearing shrubs: the purple Beauty Berry and the red Winterberry are perfect choices. Trail some ivy, blue flowering perennial Plumbago, or perhaps yellow or orange million bells over the edge of the container and your planter is complete.
Greenhouse grown mums are ideal for indoor decorating and are sold in vibrant colors; some are even two-toned in color. I place mums in a rectangular wooden container down the center of my long kitchen table and alternate small pots of trailing ivy and I have a centerpiece, which lasts longer than a vase of cut flowers. Decorative plaid pot covers or perhaps a piece of burlap tied with ribbon can decorate the container for an indoor side table or windowsill.
So when the late summer nights turn chilly, look for fall mums in many warm colors to decorate your home, but use some fun pots, props and creativity to turn those mums into something more: an awesome fall display.
Kathy Evans | Greenhouse Design & Sales